May 29, 2014
This past Tuesday The Danish Home celebrated Memorial Day with a special barbeque for their residents. I heard from Mormor that it was a beautiful day and everyone enjoyed it tremendously. The Danish Home grounds are beautiful this time of year and everyone is enjoying this wonderful weather. It was lovely for the residents to commemorate Memorial Day in this way.
The observance of Memorial Day is somewhat bittersweet. On one hand it is often thought of as a time to come together, but on the other it is also a time to reflect on the memory of all who have served our country and to remember the ultimate sacrifice they made.
In addition, we must also not forget the many immigrants who came to American from all over the world, bravely enlisting and serving for their new home country as well. Most calling America their final resting place.
Although the practice of decorating fallen soldiers’ graves is an ancient custom, the first organized gatherings were called “Decoration Days” and were actually to honor fallen Civil War soldiers. They were documented throughout several states from Pennsylvania to Mississippi beginning in 1864 and 1865. On May 1, 1865 the first widely publicized observance of a memorial for soldiers was observed in Charleston, South Carolina. However, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York as the official birthplace of Memorial Day, citing that this particular community made it an annual, community-wide event since May of 1866. After WWI observers began honoring those who died in all American Wars, and in 1971 Congress declared the last Monday in May as the national Memorial Day we celebrate today.
A Golden Anniversary
On another note, Memorial Day fell on May 26th this year and, coincidentally, I found a Tribune article in the Hope Chest from 1892 regarding a celebration held here in Chicago for the King and Queen of Denmark’s Golden Wedding Anniversary, which actually fell on May 26, 1892. It reads:
‘The Danes of Chicago cabled their congratulations to the King and Queen of Denmark on the occasion of their Majestie’s Golden Wedding, May 26. The receipt of the cable was acknowledged when O.H.Knudsen, N. 78 Monroe Street, received a letter from the King’s private secretary, Mr. Rosenstandt, of which the following is a translation:
“According to his Majesty’s command, I hereby beg to convey the heartfelt thanks of his Majesty, the King, and her Majesty, the Queen, to the Danes of Chicago for their congratulations on the occasion of their Golden Wedding.”
I wonder if any of The Ladies attended the dinner to celebrate this golden anniversary?
I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day!